Is Integration a Zero-Sum Game?

Negotiating Space for Ethnic Minorities in Europe

in French Politics, Culture & Society
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Jennifer Fredette, Constructing Muslims in France: Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014).

Maxwell Rahsaan, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

This article reviews two books that address the inherently complicated puzzle of ethnic minority accommodation in Europe. These works recognize the pressing need to understand the parameters within which minority populations and states build relationships and delineate identities, and thus the process of minority inclusion. In doing so they contribute to interdisciplinary scholarship devoted to examining how host societies manage the real and perceived threats to social, economic, and political cohesion. But questions remain. How should we define the concept of successful integration and how must we measure it? What are the factors driving successful versus failed integration? How do these factors change over time and across national contexts?